Sarah, Duchess of York paid tribute to Lisa Marie Presley during her life, calling her a sissy and sharing anecdotes about her late mother-in-law, the Queen.
The Duchess was one of many who paid tribute to the star on the front lawn of the Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, on Sunday.
Over the years, this sprawling estate has been the home of those who Elvis Presleybut after she passed away on Jan. 12 at the age of 54, the iconic residence has become the venue for those saying their final goodbyes to their daughters.
Lisa Marie suffered a cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, California, Died at the age of 54.
She was seen with her mother Priscilla Presley two days before her death Golden Globes.
In addition to family and friends, the public was also invited to attend the live-streamed ceremony.
“Before Blue Ivy, there was Lisa Marie”
The event kicked off with a powerful rendition of “Amazing Grace” by Jason Clark and The Tennessee Mass Choir, dressed in black and flanked by Lisa Photo of Lisa Marie.
Filmmaker Joel Winshank began the service by saying he hoped they would honor Lisa Marie’s wish “not to grieve,” before the Rev. Dwayne Hunter followed the podium to offer her “passion, strength, Talent and Tenacity” tribute.
In his speech, former Memphis Mayor AC Wharton listed a number of famous celebrity parents, including Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, as well as Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, and he continued: “Having Blue Ivy in Jay-Z and Beyonce , long before Prince Harry and Meghan had Archie, here, in this city, our very own royal couple, Elvis and Priscilla, had a beautiful joy named Lisa Marie…
“Fifty-four years ago, a star shone over Graceland with the birth of this precious angel.” He said she was an integral part of Memphis, calling her “a precious jewel” who lived in Everyone’s “sister” out there.
The only daughter of the King of Rock and Roll, he described her as a “conduit to the throne” and a “keeper of the flame”.
He concluded: “Lisa Marie is Memphis. She belongs to us and we belong to her.”
Sarah, Duchess of York then took to the podium to speak of the Queen in her tribute and said she supported the late singer’s children.
She said: “We need to ignite an inner fire to celebrate the extraordinary Lisa Marie. I am so honored to stand here as we call each other Sissie. You have been here all your life and I am so honored to be here.. So Sissie , this is for your affection.
She went on to tell an anecdote about the Queen, saying: “My late mother-in-law used to say, ‘There’s nothing to say, and that can start to take away the pain and suffering in these moments, because grief is our price. Paying for love price’, how right she is.”
“Our hearts are broken”
A tearful Priscilla Presley read a poem her granddaughter wrote about the loss of her mother, called “The Old Soul.” After she read it, she said: “Lisa, our hearts are broken, we all love you”.
Lisa Marie’s manager Jerry Schilling described her as “the only person who could intimidate Jerry Lee Lewis”. He continued: “I was in the hospital with her father when Priscilla gave birth and with her mother when she left us. I will always love you, Memphis.”
Rocker Axoros said he was “still in shock” over Lisa Marie’s death, adding, “I feel like I should text her now and tell her everyone is amazing”. He went on to play November Rain on the piano.
Other musical performances included Billy Corgan performing To Sheila from The Smashing Pumpkins, Alanis Morissette performing an emotional rendition of her song Rest, and the Blackwood Brothers Quartet performing How Great Thou Art and Sweet Sweet Spirit, both previously performed by Elvis.
Riley pays tribute to her mom and mentions her daughter for the first time
Actor and stuntman Ben Smith-Petersen, husband of Lisa Marie’s daughter Riley, read a book by Riley titled “To Emotional eulogy for To My Momma.
Part of the letter read: “I wish I could love my daughter as much as you love me, as you love my brothers and sisters. Thank you for giving me strength, my heart, my compassion, my courage , my sense of humor, my manners, my temper, my wildness, my tenacity. I am a product of your heart, my sister is a product of your heart, and my brother is a product of your heart.”
Smith-Petersen and Riley have been married since 2015 but have not previously revealed that they have a daughter.
“Her Father’s Protector”
Joel Weinshanker said at the conclusion of the ceremony: “Lisa’s voice will only be amplified over time, never suppressed or diminished. She was and always will be her father’s protector and we will continue to be her protector.”
He asked everyone present to respect the wishes of family members not to be photographed or videotaped.
Those present are then invited in groups to visit Lisa Marie’s tombstone in the Meditation Garden.
Elvis Presley is also buried in Graceland, as are Elvis’ parents, his grandmother and his grandson Benjamin Kiaf (son of Lisa Marie), who took his own life in 2020. Only 27 years old.
Lisa Marie’s final resting place is near her son and father.
Elvis died of heart failure at the age of 42, when Lisa Marie was just 9 years old. Priscilla Presley was just four years old when Elvis Presley divorced in 1972.
Read more: The miserable life of Lisa Marie Presley
Lisa Marie was married four times, including to pop star Michael Jackson and actor Nicolas Cage.
She has battled opioid addiction since the birth of her twin daughters in 2008.
Just months before her death, she wrote in a People magazine article: “I’ve been dealing with death, grief and loss since I was nine years old.
“I’ve had more than anyone else in my life, and somehow I’ve gotten to this point.”
She continued: “Whether we like it or not, death is a part of life — and so is grief.”
Lisa Marie is survived by her three daughters, actress and model Riley Keogh, and teenage twins Finley and Harper Lockwood.
Her children will inherit the Graceland estate, just as she inherited it from Elvis Presley after his death.